State Releases Data Analytics Report on Infant Mortality

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By: Lakeshore Staff

February 3, 2015 — Today, the State of Indiana released a report detailing the findings of an advanced analytics study on the root causes of infant mortality in Indiana. This study, which began in 2013 as a priority project for the Governor’s Management and Performance Hub (MPH) initiative, is the result of a collaboration between the Indiana Office of Technology (IOT), Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH) and KSM Consulting (KSMC). Several agencies also contributed to the research-gathering phase, including the Family and Social Services Administration, Department of Child Services, Department of Revenue, Department of Local Government Finance, Department of Corrections, and Department of Workforce Development.

“As I’ve said before, I am an advocate for strong and healthy families, and I believe that with this insight into infant mortality we have the potential to save lives,” said Governor Pence. “In my recommended budget, I asked the General Assembly for $13.5 million to reduce infant mortality, and this study will allow us to take a practical, data-driven approach to spending those resources at the Indiana State Department of Health in a manner that will improve outcomes.”

Based on the results of this study, MPH has created a tool that will continue research regarding infant mortality risk factors and gauge where and how resources are needed to support positive birth outcomes across the state.

The chief risk factors identified by the study are:

  • Inadequate prenatal care: Of all factors studied, access to prenatal care was the most important predictor of adverse outcomes. The study showed that the highest risk of infant deaths is to mothers with less than 10 prenatal visits.
  • Medicaid enrollment: Significant disparities exist in infants born to mothers enrolled in Medicaid, with increased risk for having low birth weight infants.
  • Young maternal age: 15- to 20-year old mothers with fewer than 10 prenatal visits were at the highest level of risk for adverse health outcomes. These mothers are most at risk due to a combination of the above, including more likely to have less prenatal care and be enrolled in Medicaid. These are complex risks and this is just the beginning of a comprehensive and collaborative plan to make a true impact on this important issue facing our state.

While identified high-risk subpopulations account for only 1.6 percent of all births in Indiana, they account for nearly 50 percent of infant deaths.

The findings of the report are already changing the way the State of Indiana tackles infant mortality. On January 14, 2015, First Lady Karen Pence and ISDH announced the launch of a new infant mortality public awareness campaign called Labor of Love – Helping Indiana Reduce Infant Death. This campaign, which took advantage of the findings of the report, encourages women who are pregnant or planning to become pregnant to learn more about early and regular prenatal care and other ways to help ensure a healthy pregnancy and first year of life for infants.

“We were able to use preliminary results from the study to help shape the Labor of Love campaign messaging and placement,” said State Health Commissioner Jerome Adams, M.D., M.P.H. “For example, because the study identified prenatal care as the top indicator for infant mortality, the importance of prenatal care was the exclusive focus of our television and radio efforts, in addition to being included in online and transit placement.”

More information about the Labor of Love campaign can be found at or by calling 2-1-1.

2015 Infant Mortality Report

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